For my spring break I went to Italy. I spent the entire week in Italy and I would recommend to anyone traveling to Italy to visit the exact same places I did. I flew into Pisa international airport where I met up with one of my friends from my hometown. We spent the entire week traveling together. I spent a half day in Pisa and felt that I saw the majority of things that the city had to offer. The town is known for its famous leaning tower and it did not disappoint. Other than the tower and baptistery however, the city did not have much more to offer that could warrant staying an entire day. I took a train that was surprisingly cheep into Florence where I spent the next three days.
In comparison to London, Florence is a much smaller town but has much to offer. While in Florence, I met up with an old friend that was studying and working in Florence this semester. She was Fluent in Italian and was a great help. She made a sheet for us of Italian phrases and words that we used for the remainder of our trip. I noticed that when I start a conversation in Italian and said “I am sorry, do you speak English” or used just a little bit of Italian, the local vendors were friendlier and I received better service. The highlights of Florence for me were the Galleria Dell’Accademia, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, and the Piazzale Michelangelo. The Galleria Dell’Accademia is where Michelangelo’s masterpiece the statue of David is along with multiple other statues by Michelangelo. This art gallery is a must see if you are in Florence and I would recommend buying tickets in advance online. The Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore is the largest cathedral in Italy apart from the Vatican City and was architecturally beautiful. I have been through many churches now and what stood out for me in this cathedral was the painting on the ceiling depicting the entire life of Jesus Christ, and the floor. The floor was made of multiple types of marble and was not like any of the churches I have seen in the United Kingdom. The Piazzale Michelangelo is a plaza outside of the city where you have the most beautiful view of the city. I would recommend going at sunset and sitting on the steps with a wonderful bottle of Chianti Classico wine and watching the sunset over one o the most beautiful cities I have ever been in.
Rome was my last stop on my trip and I spent the remaining three days there. The city and country side was not as beautiful as Florence but Rome had so many historically significant things to see. The roman Forum, The coliseum, and the Vatican City were breath taking. There were many times while in Rome where I stopped and thought how amazing it is to be seeing what was right in front of me right now. The Roman Forum was ruins built on top of ruins of ancient Caesar’s palaces and temples. The size of these building astounded me and showed to me how much power these people use to have. The Coliseum was the highlight of Rome for me. This was mostly because Gladiator is my favorite movie of all time. I spent an entire day in the Vatican City. I walked through Saint Peter’s Basilica and took a guided tour of the Basilica and learned much more than I would have if I had just listened to the audio tour. I would suggest to everyone to spend the few extra Euros and truly experience Saint Peter’s Basilica.
My spring break was much different than the average college students. It didn’t involve traveling to some beach in Mexico with a bunch of friends and partying all week. I saw things and went places that I had only seen on television and in movies. I never thought in my life I would have had the opportunity to see what I have seen in this semester while studying abroad. My spring break was a trip to remember for a life time.
By Marshall McBurnett